Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Message in a Bottle

If you're reading this, I have packed up the boxes in my head and shifted to another place. It happened in the manner most shiftings happen, suddenly and hurriedly, like a thunderbolt. I am one of those horrible people who buy lottery tickets on impulse and sign up for blood donation camps without quite knowing what is happening; I always have gut feelings about irrelevant things. So when it hit me that I would very much like another space to ramble in, I promptly ran off.

I can now be found in this hellhole.

I did love it here, though.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Now I know why the role killed him.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The I-Got-Into-College Post

The strangest part is that until a month ago I didn't know whether to call it Jood or Jay Yoo Dee Eee. I have now been enlightened.

I have a college to go to. I have things to study that I do not quite understand. I have lectures to attend that have me walking out with my head reeling. I have a vague agenda for the next three years, and a place to carry it out in. I have new people to pester. I do not have the Jadavpur University Department of English figured out as yet, but I'm not sure I want to. The place suits me just fine.

A lot of people predicted my getting into JU, some as far as five years ago; I fought and fought to prove them wrong but I've been banging my head into brick walls all my life. One cannot evade one's kismat beyond a point. Sorry people, hello world.

I Got Into College. I got into JUDE. It's not where I wanted to go all my life, but now that I'm here I want to sink in and stay.


Thank You.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Why I am Inadequate.

There are certain horror movies where everything starts with an ominous phone call. Despite every nerve in your body screaming out to the protagonist to Not Pick Up, he or she invariably does, and then a long convoluted saga of ominous music and complicated shots of staircases follows till the screen goes blank again. Then you are, more often than not, left wondering at the mental faculties of the protagonist.

Why I am starting off this way is to declare my support for this little action of picking-up-when-you-shouldn’t as far as the telephone is concerned. There are times when you have to, and there are times when the results turn out far from expected, which is why horror movies find watchers – there are always people who do stupid things. They pick up ringing telephones and open rickety closets and spend nights in ramshackle villas. They must not be blamed, and I’ll tell you why.

I picked up a telephone call once that involved me being asked to do a play, and not being in possession of my senses (this could be due to the fact that it was the night before my Hindi board exam and I couldn’t find my textbook anywhere), I said that one awful phrase – Okay, sure. I then ran off to Kerala once the exams ended and forgot all about the play, but when I came back the script was still in full flow. I was to attend workshops at an unknown place, and most importantly, with unknown people.

Enter decisive moment number two. Protagonist can either choose to run away, hide and lead a normal, uneventful life, or protagonist (with the audience screaming No, you moron, NO!) can say, Okay sure, and go along.

I’m not much of a protagonist. I say Okay, sure too readily and too often.

So anyway, the place where Playhouse (student performance group in Kolkata, please note) workshops were taking place turned out to be scarily reminiscent of the bhoot bangla in Bhool Bhulaiya at first glance.Still I ploughed along. I grinned a lot, nervously, at people I didn’t know. I bumped into objects and chanted strange things and waved my hands in the air and came back home swearing I’d never go back. So what if it had a web page and a logo? All that limb-waving had to be a hoax. I wasn’t going back.

Then, of course, I went for the workshop again the following day.

The really bad part about this post is that I should be stopping right now. The horror movie veneer wears thin from here. The house turns out to be fascinating, its inhabitants turn out to be not-really-ogres, the rehearsals are blurs of energy and laughter, and the work is backbreaking but beautiful. When you’re doing a play that is directed, produced, designed and performed entirely by students, it’s a horror movie of a different sort. And it has a script that cannot be explained without referring to inside jokes and conspiracy theories, teatime breaks and moments of madness. Of course, if I try to explain all of that this might turn into a novel, and if I write some random cryptic sentences the only people who will get them are people who did the play. Which is why this is a bad post. That doesn’t mean I’m done writing it.

There were people I met who should never ever show their Playhouse sides to the rest of the world, especially to any agency associated with law and order. Some redefined insanity as a concept; others morphed into entire concepts of insanity themselves. There was a homicidal Doberman Pinscher that everyone lived in mortal dread of, which is probably why we agreed to spend all that time cooped up in the Rehearsal Room. There was also a niggling feeling in my head all along that reality shows have a purpose, after all. When you spend too much time with a bunch of strangers, you change in weird ways. You say different things and you react differently, and most importantly, you share a part of yourself with them that you normally wouldn’t let out to anyone or anything but a close-circuit camera.

My apologies to everyone as far as I am concerned in relation to the last sentence. You know I love you (which is basically a nice way of saying Let This Not Get Out, Please).

And now, to cut a long story short, the play (Boomerang, please note) did happen. The initial level of pointlessness which had convinced me of its hoax-like nature suddenly turned into three days of yells and colours and the kind of madness that only putting up a play can bring. And now that it’s over, I suddenly have a lot more time on my hands. Which is why I’m reblogging. But there are such things as hangovers, and for lack of other things to write about, here I am. I haven’t made much sense. I haven’t much sense anyway. All I have are too many things that I’d like to write about, but then that can wait for the novel I shall write someday, which will hopefully be more coherent.

And that, in short, is why horror movies don’t happen to me. The beginning is uncertain, the middle part is a vague flurry of things not quite taken in, and the ending is almost always the Okay, sure kind. Since this is my version of the story, I'm obviously the protagonist, except I'm very glad the horror movie happened. You may argue that picking up ringing telephones is still an act of extreme stupidity, but nothing to be done. I am very inadequate that way.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tags are like Telemarketers.

I still haven't thought of a new url, and The Soliloquist was nice enough to remind me that I have a tag pending (well, lots of them, but this was a reminder, and may morph into a threat soon). And keeping in mind that I have absolutely no time on my hands, I will at once sit down and waste some more on this.

4 Jobs I’ve had (in chronological order):

If you stretch the definition of "job" to an extreme, I blabber away to a very patient kid, pretending to be a quiz-cum-GK teacher and general gyaan-giver. I also did a commissioned glass painting once, but never got paid thanks to the fact that my parents commissioned it and I, like an idiot, accepted it. Apart from that, zilch.

4 Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:

This is not a definite list at all, just names that are floating around in my head now:

The Godfather
Notting Hill
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (don't ask why, just struck me)
and oh, have sudden hankering to watch Padosan.

4 Places I’ve lived (in order):

My home, various dusty villages on freezing mountains, a houseboat, a forest lodge.

4 TV Shows I Like:

Friends (Gasp! What a surprise!)
Grey's Anatomy
And I really, really loved The Wild Thornberries.

4 Favorite Foods:


(Note the use of the plural form)

4 Places I’d rather be:

Macchu Pichhu.

4 People I’m Tagging:

Ad Libber
Death on Two Legs

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Nahin! OR, The Fainting Fit

It has come to pass that I am afraid of my blog. It has been Discovered.

By my parents.

Now the thing is, I can't figure out why my guiltmeter is working overtime because there's nothing much about them on the blog, right? I'm ignoring the Mum-at-the-Dentist's post. I'm ignoring all the other posts that must have featured them or people they know, I can't be bothered searching through the archives and deleting them. Besides, What Is This? I can't have a blog? I can't write down my views? I can't share my life's story with the Internet?

I'm grossly over-reacting here; there was no showdown whatsoever, just a general laugh about my url having the word "butterfly" in it, and a lot of taunts about how the blog would be forwarded to people I didn't want it to be forwarded to. In case I haven't mentioned, the family's sense of humour is a little grotesque. Likewise, I am about as paranoid as Mojo Jojo on tequila.

The point being, secrecy must be maintained at all costs. Us bloggers who know each other in real life develop coughing fits whenever blogging is mentioned. Which is why I shall change my url in a few days. Family, if you're reading this, bwahahahahahah. I shall make sure the new one is not discovered. As for the rest, I shall just have to reappear like the prodigal son (or the post-plastic surgery Ekta Kapoor hero) and notify you about my existence again.

This post is also to be taken as a public announcement about me taking a sabbatical until further notice. Or at least until I get help for persecution mania. Whatever.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Three Memories

Since it is only a matter of weeks before I start gushing or grumbling about college (If I can get into one, that is), here is a little more nostalgia:



Skunky: Hey, want to see something nice? Here, come closer.

Me: (Stupid fool that I am) What what? Are you going to offer me a piece of your orange?

Skunky: NO! (squeezes peel of orange very quickly into my eye, so that a spray of something very sharp hits my face, making me cry out. Through watering eyes I catch her grinning, the air in the bus smelling of oranges)

Me: Aaaaaargh!This means war.

(We take turns squirting orange-peel poison at each other, and then wonder whether we should try it on the driver. We decide against it. We are young, but we're not that idiotic)

Skunky: Hey, you want to practice throwing the peels into the windows of passing vehicles? Ten points if you get it in.

It was only later that we found out what "Don't Pollute The Environment" meant. And, to our credit, we did manage to chuck most of the peels into the buses. So the roads remained clean.


PUJO 2007

We come to a corner, turn it, and are on the road. Cars come at us in whooshes of bright light, and our laughter sounds harsher and nearer, as if it were ricocheting off their flashing bodies.

A group of people walk towards us in Pujo finery - big earrings, mismatched purses, shiny new shoes that have nothing to do with the rest of the outfits, the works. We try to look inconspicuous and fail, especially since quite a few of us are cackling insanely and the other half are, well, tottering.

Hiju: Do you realise that these people are walking towards us?

[I stare blankly]

Hiju: No, they're walking the other way. We're the only people walking forwards. The whole world's against us. (eyes her shoes tragically)

[Well, we tried not to die laughing]

The Narcissist: (gasps for breath and finds her voice) you know, I love you guys. I really do. This is fun. Oooh, look, a crossing! We're going to cross the street, yay!

[She's like that in real life too, yes.]

Me: I'm not crossing the street.

The Shrew: Why not?

Me: Because I'll die. (am encountered with blank look, and proceed to explain) I just know I will. Some car will mow me down and I'll be a stain on the road. Bloody cars. What do they think of themselves? They're just tin boxes on wheels, for the love of God. They MUST NOT kill me.

The Shrew: So they won't kill you. Come on, cross!

Me: No, I'll die. Did I not just explain it to you?

The Shrew: This isn't the time, really. I can't handle you like this.

Me: You prissy spoilsport! Can't you see I'll DIE if I cross the street? I'm only eighteen, I don't want to die while I'm still eighteen! Lemmego Lemmego! I'll die. You want your friend to DIE?

I was dragged across the street and was able to stomach a huge dinner thereafter. And I'm here writing this, so it's obvious I lived to tell the tale. But I'm still afraid of cars. Bloody cars.



Me: Hey, stop doing that schoolwork.. listen to me.

The Gollum: (puts pen down, eyes me wearily) Yes?

Me: Did you know that when you're cremated the only part of you that remains afterwards is your bellybutton?

The Gollum: You mean when a person is cremated. I've never been.

Me: Don't distract me. So your naabhi is the only thing that remains?

The Gollum: So I've heard.

Me: So where do all the discarded bellybuttons go? There must be someone who collects them.

The Gollum: (Doesn't bat an eyelid - proof of the superhuman levels of endurance she's now reached) No, I think they just lie there. And then maybe they're swept away.

Me: Where's your sense? Of course someone collects them! The Naabhi Collector! He collects bellybuttons.

The Gollum: Okay, fine. The sooner this ends the better. So what does this Naabhi Collector do with the bellybuttons?

Me: He strings them into necklaces, of course. And wears them. Or maybe he makes things out of them. Showpieces maybe.

The Gollum: You're twisted. I don't want to buy any decorative items for a while now.

Me (bristling) : Oh, so you find the Naabhi Collector sick, but you can buy those fake Made-In-China things? They have bone powder in them, I've heard.

The Gollum: Bone China does not have bone powder in it.

Me: It might.

The Gollum: So you're telling me it's better to have a showpiece with some long-dead person's bellybutton in it instead of bone china?

Me (as if stating the obvious): Yes!

The Gollum: In that case, Naabhi Showpieces it is. Somewhere in my house is a bellybutton. Hey... (suddenly becomes interested) do you think he has a patent for it?

Me: Dhat. I've always hated showpieces. Don't you have to finish your work?

And no, I did not get murdered for that.

Bless you, my friends.